Saturday, 21 May 2016

Bowland Mix

I have made  a few visits recently to Bowland to catch up with some of it's wildlife.The arrival of the summer visitors is very slow.The weather has been up and down as usual and it hasn't really warmed up yet in this part of Lancashire.The numbers of pied flycatchers and redstarts seems well down and a visit to a Bowland wood usually quite good only resulted in one singing pied flycatcher and only one redstart.I did however manage a few images of the redstart singing from a treetop.The best bird from the woodland was however a treecreeper.This is a bird I have never photographed and I was quite pleased with the results.The treecreeper allowed a close approach and was unconcerned by my presence.

Lapwings and curlews also seem thin on the ground this year but I did catch up with some and it was nice to see one or two lapwing chicks looking for food and closely guarded by the adult birds.One of the special birds seen and photographed recently and very uncommon in Bowland was the sand martin.A small colony exsists close to the road in the sandy banks of a small stream and I was able to photograph the birds prospecting from the comfort of the car.

Brown hares also seem low in numbers maybe due to the very wet winter we experienced last year.I did however come across three individuals on my travels and managed a few shots.It is a delight to drive along the very quiet and almost at times deserted roads and lanes of Bowland  The last image of a lamb with it's mother sums this up nicely as the road snakes it's way up towards the boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire.Hope you have enjoyed my images from Bowland and you can be sure more will follow in weeks to come.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Wader Roost..Fairhaven

Towards the end of the first week of May there were a series of ten metre tides.At this time large numbers of waders were roosting on the shore and marsh out from Lytham on the northern side of the Ribble Estuary.An estimate of around ten thousand birds had been observed and I was anxious to see them before they departed for Arctic breeding grounds.

The numbers had dropped a little on my visit but it was still a spectacular sight and I obtained some nice images of the action which are shown below.The vast majority of the waders were knot and many of them were showing developing summer plumage, when they turn from the winter grey to a lovely brick red colour.It was not easy to get close to the birds as the high tide made access onto the marsh difficult.The weather has also been excellent recently and a few days later most of these birds had departed on their long migrations.

Dunlin,ringed plover,and a few grey plover were also present and the final image shows a group of dunlin waiting for the tide to drop.The following day I visited the southern shore of the Ribble estuary at one of my favourite wader roost sites near Southport.It was very strange to see the vast areas of beach almost deserted.There were a few flocks of mainly dunlin and a few sanderling but they were well scattered. I did obtain some nice dunlin portraits which I may post at a later date.Thanks for looking in and stay tuned for more from my wildlife encounters.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Evening Grebes

My latest post features once again great crested grebes.I have made many visits this spring to watch and photograph what is one of my favourite birds.On a couple of occasions I visited in the evening. The wind had dropped and that lovely evening light was evident following fine sunny days.Also I had hoped for a possible sighting of otters as two otters had been seen around the reserve and seem to be making themselves at home.The otters didn't show but hopefully I may be lucky in the future.

The grebes as usual looked magnificent as they went about their fishing sorties on the lake.At times they posed nicely for the camera but didn't catch any fish whilst I was there.I was pleased however to get an image of the grebe just about to dive under and there was also a nice reflection of this event.The other shots also showed nice reflections of the grebes and surrounding colours from bankside vegetation.Hope you enjoy my latest efforts and my next postings will probably be of another of my favourite subjects,waders.Good numbers of waders have been showing at high tide roosts on the Ribble Estuary and I have managed to capture the action before they depart for Arctic breeding grounds.Thanks for looking in and enjoy the continuing wonderful weather.

Friday, 6 May 2016


It had been some time since I had last photographed avocets.I had heard that two pairs of avocets were nesting in front of Sandgrounders hide at Marshside RSPB.As the settled weather was here for the week I decided to try my luck at obtaining some images.The two pairs of avocets were posing beautifully about ten yards in front of the hide.From time to time the pair would exchange nesting duties.This gave an opportunity to see the eggs.One pair had four eggs and the other two eggs.The avocets were on a shingle island immediately in front of the hide and all around were dozens of pairs of nesting black headed gulls.The area has had an electric fence erected. This will be to protect the avocet chicks when they arrive from predation.In previous years many chicks have been taken by foxes.

I then moved on to have a look up the road at Nel's hide.This area is still very much under water from the winter storms and is only drying out very slowly.Consequently there is not much wet ground or mud for the waders and the normally present black tailed godwits were not around. There was however another two pairs of avocets nesting on some dry ground not far way.One of these avocets was being bothered by a canada goose which was in danger of trampling on the nest and eggs. The parent bird was going frantic and was attacking the goose to drive it away. After many minutes it was successful and peace returned to the area.Avocets are wonderful parents and will attack any intruders in the vicinty of the nest.

This gave me some more opportunities for the camera and I was able to grab a few more action shots of this altercation.I enjoyed seeing avocets again and I hope the electric fence keeps the predators away and that the avocets have a successful breeding season.Thanks for looking in and hope you enjoy my selection of images from the day at Marshside.